How to prevent and treat benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate adenoma is a benign growth of the glandular epithelium or stromal component of the prostate under the influence of hormonal imbalance inherent in the age-related remodeling of the body. BPH has a benign growth, that is, it does not form metastases and this fundamentally distinguishes an adenoma from prostate cancer. More than half of men over 50 see a doctor about this disease.
In men of a younger age, prostate adenoma develops rarely, and only getting older the risk of the disease increases significantly. It is believed that over time it develops in 85% of men and is the most common urological disease in older men.
Clinical signs of the disease are frequent urination (especially at night) and difficulty urinating with a sluggish stream. In some cases, acute urinary retention caused by alcohol, certain medications, etc. may occur. The feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder and urination in 2-3 doses in small portions indicates a progressive growth of the adenoma. In the advanced stage of the disease, urinary incontinence and signs of renal failure are observed.
For the treatment of prostatic hyperplasia, medical, and surgical methods are used. At the first symptoms of the disease, two types of drugs are prescribed - these are drugs that improve blood circulation in the pelvic organs and eliminate urinary tract infections (alpha-blockers) and drugs (5-alpha-reductase blockers) that block the transition of testosterone to active dihydrotestosterone and thereby reducing the volume of the prostate gland.
In severe cases, resort to surgical intervention, which is the excision of the adenoma.
How to prevent BHP?
There is no specific measures for the prevention of BHP. However, you can minimize the risk-reducing the negative factors:
- Limit or quit alcohol consumption;
- Do not smoke tobacco;
- Do physical exercises at least thrice a week;
- Walk instead of driving when possible;
- Make sure you eat enough vegetables and lean protein and reduce the consumption of sugar, saturated fats, and so on.
- Treat any diseases (especially of the urinary system) timely and as appointed by your doctor.
- In the occurrence of BPH symptoms – go to a urologist without a delay.
These general health maintenance recommendations can contribute to the delay of the disorder onset or prevent its development at all. A healthy lifestyle helps to maintain normal hormonal levels, which is crucial for the prevention of age-related diseases including BHP. It is proven that physical exercising and diet can greatly influence hormone levels including the levels of androgens which imbalance is considered the main cause of BHP.
When should you go to a doctor?
The first sign of BHP is trouble starting urinating. Even if the discomfort is mild, it is time to go to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of urinary and reproductive system diseases in men.
It is important to go for a checkup as early as possible because the sooner treatment is started, the higher is the chance of complete stopping of the disease progression. Besides, in the first signs of disease, a man requires drug therapy while in late stages, it could be insufficient and surgery may be required which is an invasive and costly procedure with a lot of risks and possible complications.
If BHP is not treated, it progresses, in some men slower, in some faster, but the final result is the same – complete obstruction of the urinary tract requiring a surgery. Besides, it causes dysfunction of the bladder and kidney failure as a result of the impaired outflow of the urine and residue urine. Kidney failure caused by BHP can be fatal.
How is BHP diagnosed?
The preliminary diagnosis can be made based on a patient’s complaints about the difficulty urinating, weak flow of urine, and others. The methods that allow confirming or disproving the diagnosis are:
- Palpation or physical examination of the prostate through the rectum allows identifying prostate enlargement, the size of the tumor, painfulness, and its structure.
- Laboratory urine test and blood test allow determining the level of prostatic specific antigen in the blood.
- Ultrasound examination.
- Urine flow rate analysis.
Treatment of BHP with drugs
The drug therapy of BHP is made with the aim of the improvement of the blood flow in the urinary tract organs, deceleration of the tissue growth, elimination of inflammation, constipation, solving urine retention, treating infections of the urinary tract developed due to the condition, and support of the kidney function.
Besides the use of the drugs, men with the predisposition or at the first signs of the disease onset also are advised to improve their lifestyle, i.e. do physical exercises, eat healthily, quit tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, and so on. In poor overall health and consumption of alcohol or tobacco smoking, there is a high risk of acute urinary retention and kidney failure that is why such changes are crucial for effective therapy.
The medicines for BHP include:
For the treatment of BHP, you need to get a comprehensive medical checkup and get your treatment appointed by a specialist. However, you don’t necessarily need to buy the branded drugs at your local drugstores. You can instead buy the generic versions of the prescribed drugs online and make your treatment significantly cheaper.